Bible in a Year:

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.

Proverbs 21:31

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Proverbs 21:21–31

The wounded horse was named Drummer Boy, one of 112 mounts carrying British soldiers into battle during the famed Charge of the Light Brigade. The animal showed such bravery and stamina that his assigned commander, Lieutenant Colonel de Salis, decided his horse deserved a medal as much as his valiant men. This was done even though their military action against enemy forces failed. Yet the cavalry’s valor, matched by the courage of their horses, established the clash as one of Britain’s greatest military moments, still celebrated today.

The confrontation, however, shows the wisdom of an ancient Bible proverb: “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31). Scripture affirms this principle clearly. “For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory” (Deuteronomy 20:4). Indeed, even against the sting of death, wrote the apostle Paul, “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56–57).

Knowing this, our task still is to be prepared for life’s tough tests. To build a ministry, we study, work, and pray. To create beautiful art, we master a skill. To conquer a mountain, we secure our tools and build our strength. Then prepared, we’re more than conquerors through Christ’s strong love.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

What battles or challenges are you preparing for now? If your victory rests in God, why should you prepare for this life test?

Heavenly Father, as I approach life’s great tests, inspire me to prepare my heart so that You get the victory.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – God’s Choice of the Poor

“Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man” (James 2:5-6).

Showing favoritism to the rich is inconsistent with God’s choice of the poor.

Wealth and poverty are not necessarily spiritual issues. Many wealthy people are godly Christians and many poor people are unbelievers. But generally speaking, God has chosen poor people to populate His kingdom. Jesus said, “It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easer for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:23-24). That’s because rich people tend to be bound to this world and have a false sense of security. Many of them not only reject Christ, but also persecute believers (cf. James 2:6-7).

Regardless of your financial status, if you love God, you are rich in faith and an heir of His kingdom (James 2:5). That means you’re saved and will inherit the fullness of your salvation and the richness of God’s eternal blessing. That’s a marvelous truth!

Don’t let riches cloud your good judgment. God expects Christians to honor and care for their poorer brothers and sisters in Christ. You can’t do that if you’re showing partiality to the rich.

Suggestions for Prayer

If God has blessed you with more resources than you need, be grateful and ready always to share with those in need (1 Tim. 6:19). If you struggle to get by, thank Him for what He does provide and for teaching you greater dependence on Him.

For Further Study

Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19.

  • What is God’s standard of contentment?
  • What pitfalls await those who desire wealth?
  • What constitutes true riches?


Joyce Meyer – Living a Holy Life by Following Peace

Since all these things are thus in the process of being dissolved, what kind of person ought [each of] you to be [in the meanwhile] in consecrated and holy behavior and devout and godly qualities.

— 2 Peter 3:11 (AMPC)

This is a special day because it is one in which we have an opportunity to grow in holy behavior. We grow in holiness as we fellowship with God and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, not as we work hard to follow religious rules and regulations. Spiritual disciplines are important, but we should avoid letting them become laws. For example, it is good to read and study God’s Word as often as possible, but there is no law that says if you miss a day that God is mad at you or disappointed in you.

The way to grow in holiness is simple—just be committed to following peace. If you have peace about your thoughts, words, and behaviors, then continue in them, but if you sense an uncomfortable feeling in your spirit, or a lack of peace, it may well be a nudge from the Holy Spirit that your action isn’t what it should be. The more you follow God’s lead, the happier you will be. When God gives us another day to live, it is a valuable gift, and one that should be used for His glory and honor.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You that today I can grow in holiness. I ask You to help me sense what You approve of and what You do not approve of, and to live accordingly. Amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – A Picture of Beauty

You are the most handsome of the sons of men.

Psalm 45:2

The entire person of Christ is like one diamond, and His life in every dimension leaves one lasting impression. He is altogether complete, not only in His various parts, but as a gracious all-glorious whole. His character is not a mass of bright colors mixed confusedly, nor a heap of precious stones laid carelessly on top of each other; He is a picture of beauty and a breastplate of glory. In Him, all the things of good repute are in their proper places and assist in adorning each other. Not one feature in His glorious person attracts attention at the expense of others; but He is perfectly and altogether lovely.

Oh, Jesus, Your power, Your grace, Your justice, Your tenderness, Your truth, Your majesty, and Your immutability combine to make a man, or rather a God-man, whom neither heaven nor earth has ever seen elsewhere. Your infancy, Your eternity, Your sufferings, Your triumphs, Your death, and Your immortality are all woven into one gorgeous tapestry, without seams or tears. You are music without discord; You are all things, and yet not diverse. As all the colors blend into one resplendent rainbow, so all the glories of heaven and earth meet in You and unite so perfectly that there is no one like You in all things; indeed, if all the virtues of the most excellent were bound in one bundle, they could not rival You, mirror of all perfection. You have been anointed with the holy oil, which Your God has reserved for You alone; and as for Your fragrance, it is the holy perfume that cannot be matched even with the chemist’s skill; each spice is fragrant, but the compound is divine.

Oh, sacred symmetry! oh, rare connection

Of many perfects, to make one perfection!

Oh, heavenly music, where all parts do meet

In one sweet strain, to make one perfect sweet!

C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Good

 “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

As a kid I always loved going over to visit my “cousins.” They weren’t really my cousins, but since our families spent so much time together, we called each other cousins. It was fun to be at David’s house because his dad was a police officer and had really cool things to show us…such as real handcuffs! And what made David’s house even more fun was that he had a big swimming pool in his backyard.

Without fail, every time I was ready to go down the street and play at David’s house, my mom would tell me something that you have probably heard before: “Be good!” Why would Mom have to tell me to be good? She told me because she knew that my being good was a choice I had to make.

But no one has to tell God to “be good,” because He just is good. He can’t choose to do wrong.

God’s goodness is seen in His creation. Right after God finished creating the world, He looked at it and saw that He had done something good. Genesis 1:31 says, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” God never has to do anything over; everything was good the first time He created it.

God’s goodness is seen in His involvement in our lives. Have you ever read the story of Joseph in the Bible? Joseph’s brothers hated him, so they sold him to a group of people who were going to use Joseph as a slave. But God was being good to Joseph the whole time that all of this was going on.

Eventually God put Joseph in a very high position in a foreign country. Joseph used his high position in the land to prepare for a seven-year famine. Back in his home country, Joseph’s family ran out of food and had to go to the land where Joseph lived so that they could get more food.

When Joseph’s brothers came to him for food, what was his response? He forgave them and gave them as much as they needed. Why did Joseph do that and not try to get even with his brothers for selling him to be a slave? He didn’t try to get even because he understood God’s goodness. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph says, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

Joseph understood that God allowed all those things to happen to him so he would be in a position to help thousands of people during the famine. God is always working in your life, and it is good!

God’s goodness is seen in His gifts. Have you ever wanted to get the perfect gift for someone? Maybe at Christmas time you go up and down the aisles of the store looking for that perfect gift for Mom or Dad. When they open the gift, you are holding your breath with excitement, hoping that they just absolutely love the gift that you picked out.

God is constantly giving us gifts, which the Bible describes as “good gifts.” James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

God doesn’t have to be told to be good, because He is good. And according to Psalm 52:1, His goodness endures forever!

God is always good, and He is only good.

My Response:
» Since God is always good, do I remember that I can totally trust Him to be good in my life?

Denison Forum – Photo of father sleeping on hospital floor goes viral: The path from sincerity to spiritual transformation

Joe Duncan came home from working a twelve-hour shift as a cement technician to learn that his daughter was having difficulty breathing. His wife, Sara, wanted to take her to the hospital, but Joe had to return to a morning shift a few hours later. She encouraged him to stay home and rest, but he insisted on making the one-hour drive with his family to the hospital.

Their daughter received treatment and was cleared to go home after two hours. Sara found Joe napping on the hospital floor using the car seat as a pillow. She took his picture and wrote, “I was looking at him thinking how thankful I am for him and how I wouldn’t want to do this life without him.” Her post went viral.

Father’s Day gave us all an opportunity to thank our fathers and to thank our Father for our fathers. Being there, showing up, and doing life with our families is the foundation of fatherhood.

Sincerity is not enough

Here’s the problem with this wonderful story, however: being there is essential, but it’s not enough. Sincerity is not enough.

The Bible tells us that parents are to teach God’s word “diligently to your children . . . when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7; cf. Ephesians 6:4Proverbs 22:6).

God’s word also tells men how to be good husbands: “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19; cf. Ephesians 5:25); “Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Ephesians 5:28).

Sincerity is essential, but it is not enough. However, our secular culture disagrees.

Boris Johnson says he is a “very, very bad Christian”

US Catholic bishops announced on Friday that they had voted to prepare a document laying out conditions under which Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, including President Biden, may be denied Communion. Watching the media’s largely negative response, it is clear that many consider Mr. Biden’s apparent religious sincerity to be sufficient, regardless of his positions on official Catholic doctrine.

In other political news, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently married fiancée Carrie Symonds at Westminster Cathedral in London. The fact that they were married in a religious rather than secular ceremony interested the media, since the prime minister has been less than forthcoming about his personal religious views. He did, however, tell an interviewer for The Atlantic, “Christianity is a superb ethical system and I would count myself as a kind of very, very bad Christian. No disrespect to any other religions, but Christianity makes a lot of sense to me.”

In our culture, sincerity is enough. If the prime minister sincerely believes he is a Christian (albeit a “very, very bad” one), he must be a Christian. Just as I can be a fan of the Texas Rangers or Dallas Cowboys by declaring myself one, I can be a Christian by declaring myself one. Sincerity has replaced truth in our culture.

Why won’t this work?

The death of the president’s dog

One answer is logical: Our postmodern, relativistic culture rejects the existence of absolute truth, which is an absolute truth claim. In a brilliant new article I hope you’ll read, philosopher R. J. Snell observes, “One cannot deny our ability to know the truth without making truth claims and by that very act affirming the possibility and necessity of truth.”

Another is practical: I can sincerely deny that Boris Johnson exists, but my sincere opinion doesn’t change his reality. I can ignore the fact of death, but death won’t ignore me. Even the president of the United States is just as mortal as his beloved dog Champ, whose passing was marked with grief by the Biden family Saturday.

Iran’s new president is obviously sincere about his commitment to Shiite Islam. However, he has been accused of systematically sending as many as three thousand people to slaughter on orders of his religious leader, the former Ayatollah Khomeini. We can be sincere but sincerely and tragically wrong.

“Go back to your beginnings with God”

However, if our sincere faith is faith in the one true God, everything changes. Consider three biblical facts.

One: It’s not too late to come to Jesus.

The New England Aquarium honored a woman’s thirty-eight-year-old ticket that had been in her great-aunt’s wallet. Jesus is even more gracious: he will welcome your faith whether you are young (Matthew 19:14), old (Luke 2:25–38), or even at the end of your life (Luke 23:42–43).

Two: It’s not too soon to come to Jesus.

A new medical device is giving surgeons “x-ray vision” by fusing digitally enhanced images into the microscope of a surgical device. Jesus is even more omniscient (Luke 6:8) and will lead all who will follow into his providential and perfect will (Matthew 11:28–30).

Three: The best way to serve others is to help them follow Jesus.

A father’s best gift to his children is leading them to their Father. If we sincerely love others, we will want them to love our Lord. However, we cannot give what we do not have or lead others where we will not go.

To this end, let’s close by focusing our grateful sincerity on our loving Savior.

Billy Graham’s personal pastor, Don Wilton, told of a time he asked the famed evangelist, “Please tell me what I need to know as I try to serve the Lord.” He writes that Dr. Graham “looked at me for the longest time, and then he began to talk.” Dr. Graham advised him, “Go back to your beginnings with God. God will never be able to use you unless you are totally surrendered to him. A surrendered man never forgets where he came from as a sinner separated from Christ.

“From a heart of gratitude will flow loving the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind. From the act of surrender will come the love you have for your wife and children. From that same heart will flow the love with which you love your people and preach the Word.”

Would Jesus say you are surrendered to him today?


Upwords; Max Lucado –Step Toward Forgiveness


Resentment sucks satisfaction from the soul. Bitterness consumes it. Revenge has a monstrous appetite. One act of retaliation is never enough. Grudges send us on a downward spiral.

Some people perceive the path of forgiveness to be impossibly steep, so let’s be realistic. Forgiveness does not pardon the offense, excuse the misdeed, or ignore it. Forgiveness is not even necessarily reconciliation. The phrase “forgive and forget” sets an unreachable standard. Painful memories are not like old clothing, easily shed. Forgiveness is simply the act of changing your attitude toward the offender. It’s moving from a desire to harm toward an openness to be at peace. A step in the direction of forgiveness is a decisive step toward happiness.